Innovation in Teaching   About me | Books | CALL | Autonomy | SLA | Hire me | Contact

Beyond the Language Classroom

Benson, P. & Reinders, H. (2011) (Eds), Beyond the Language Classroom. The Theory and Practice of Informal Language Learning and Teaching. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. You can read more about this book by clicking on the link ‘beyond the classroom’ in the menu on the right.

Beyond the Language Classroom

An estimated 80% of adult learning takes place outside of formal education (Cross 1981). For language learning, it is likely that out-of-class experiences play an equally important role (cf. de Bot 2007). It is therefore surprising that the role of informal language learning has received very little attention over the years, with the vast majority of research instead focusing on classroom methods, materials and interaction.

Researchers from a range of backgrounds, however, have started to realise the important contribution of informal language learning, both in its own right, and in its relationship with classroom learning. Studies in the areas of learner autonomy, learning strategies, study abroad, language support, learners’ voices, computer-mediated communication, mobile-assisted language learning, and many others, all add to our understanding of the complex and intersecting ways in which learners construct their own language learning experiences, drawing from a wide range of resources, including materials, teachers, self-study, technology, other learners, and native speakers.

Because of the predominance of informal language learning, it is important that the existing body of research is solidified and that the various disciplines that have looked at this area are brought together to present the current state of knowledge in one, accessible volume. For this reason, the researchers below have been invited from different backgrounds to contribute individual chapters that together cover all the relevant areas.

Table of contents
Phil Benson and Hayo Reinders

1. Language learning and teaching beyond the classroom: An introduction to the field
Phil Benson

2. Family, friends and learning beyond the classroom: Social networks and social capital in language learning
David Palfreyman

3. Places for learning: Technology-mediated language learning practices beyond the classroom
Leena Kuure

4. From milk cartons to English roommates: Context and agency in L2 learning beyond the classroom
Paula Kalaja, Riikka Alanen, Åsa Palviainen, and Hannele Dufva.

5. Affordances for language learning beyond the classroom
Vera Menezes

6. Becoming multilingual: An ethnographic approach to SLA beyond the classroom
David Divita

7. Talk about language use: I know a little about your language
Erica Zimmerman

8. A possible path to progress: Out-of-school English language learners in Sweden
Pia Sundqvist

9. Teenagers learning languages out of school: What, why and how do they learn? How can school help them?
Sophie Bailly

10. Older language learners, social learning spaces, and community
Garold Murray

11. Tandem learning in virtual spaces: Supporting non-formal and informal learning in adults
Ursula Stickler and Martina Emke

12. Home tutor cognitions and the nature of tutor-learner relationships
Gary Barkhuizen

13. Materials development for language learning beyond the classroom
Hayo Reinders

Introduction to the book

Introduction: Phil Benson and Hayo Reinders

This volume brings together 13 chapters that have been especially written for this collection in response to an international call for contributions to a book devoted to research on language learning and teaching beyond the classroom. In one sense, the common factor among the papers lies in what they are not; there are no studies of classroom language learning or teaching in this volume. This is a significant point, because so many studies are based on research carried out in classrooms or with classroom learners and quite possibly informed by hidden assumptions related to the classroom setting. Studies of language learning and teaching in settings beyond the classroom are valuable, therefore, because they provide alternative perspectives on the meaning of, and social and cognitive processes involved in, language learning and teaching.

At the same time, we are aware of the risks involved in describing this volume in terms of what it is not – risks that are highlighted by the difficulty of avoiding terms such as informal, out-of-class, non-instructed, and so on, which appear to take this way of describing our object of inquiry for granted. We are also aware of the risk of treating the world beyond the classroom as an alternative to the classroom, as if classrooms were the natural place for language learning to take place and the world beyond the classroom a strange and hostile territory in which languages are learned with difficulty, if at all. With the rise of mass education over the past 50 years or so, there has certainly been a tendency for language learning to migrate into educational institutions, to the point where research often views language learning as an ‘effect’ produced by the ‘cause’ of classroom language teaching, which is likely to be stronger or weaker according to the teaching method or style and a variety of social and individual difference variables among the learners. Yet is also common knowledge among teachers that the progress made by students who learn languages only in the classroom tends to be limited, especially in their ability to use the language for spoken or written communication. Well-rounded communicative proficiency, it seems, depends to a large extent on the learner’s efforts to use and learn the language beyond the walls of the classroom. For this reason alone, settings for language learning beyond the classroom deserves much more attention in research than they have received hitherto.

The balance of published research suggests that language learners spend more time learning languages in classrooms than outside them. Whether this is an accurate reflection of current patterns of language learning worldwide is open to question. We suspect that it is not and that vast swathes of the territory for language learning beyond the classroom remain undiscovered by research. One of the interesting features to emerge from this volume, therefore, is the range of settings investigated, several of which, such as those that deal with language learning in the learner’s homes, have not been the subject of research to date. A second interesting feature to emerge has been the significance of teaching in settings beyond the classroom. The dichotomy between classroom and out-of-class learning is often paired with a dichotomy between instructed and non-instructed, or ‘naturalistic’ learning, which can also lead to an assumption that the classroom is a place for teaching and learning, while the world beyond the classroom is only a place for learning. The contributions to this volume suggest that this is a false assumption, and that much of the interest in language learning beyond the classroom lies in the distinctive modes of pedagogy that are found in different settings. These issues are addressed at a theoretical level in Benson’s opening chapter (Chapter 1), which offers an analytical framework for investigating language learning beyond the classroom, involving dimensions of location, formality, pedagogy and locus of control, and a distinction between settings and the modes of practice in learning and teaching that they support.

The chapters that follow report data-based studies of learning and teaching in a variety of settings, using a variety of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies. Chapters 2 to 5 each explore patterns of language learning beyond the classroom from four different, but related, theoretical perspectives. In an interview study of female English learners and their families in the United Arab Emirates, Palfreyman (Chapter 2) uses Social Networking theory to focus on the role of relationships with family and friends, arguing that interaction with ‘significant others’ is a crucial element in language learning beyond the classroom. Palfreyman’s study is particularly valuable in showing how access to target language resources,such as reading materials or native speakers, is likely to be mediated through learners’ family and friendship networks. Kuure (Chapter 3) uses Mediated Discourse Analysis to analyze case study data of a Finnish English learner’s out-of-school, technology-mediated language learning. Here the setting is both the home and the virtual gaming environments in which the learner spends much of his spare time. Kuure shows how online games and the activities around them provide important affordances for language learning, although language learning is not necessarily the objective, as a means of nurturing social relationships through collaborative problem-solving and networking among online peers. Kalaja an her research team (Chapter 4) report a study based on Vygotskyan theory and using qualitative analysis of open-ended questionnaire responses, which compares the different ways in which young Finns learn English and Swedish in and out of school. They find that while their school-based experiences are similar, their out-of-school experiences are very different, with students being much more active in exercising their agency in learning English – an illustration of how different modes of practice can develop in very similar settings, in this case for the learning of different languages. Menezes (Chapter 5) uses narrative data from a collection of written language learning histories, to explore the concept of ‘affordances’ in Ecological theory as a metaphor for understanding how Brazilian learners of English seek out opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Arguing that affordances do not simply exist in the environment, but are constructed within the learners relationship with it, she examines how learners exercise their agency to find their own particular ‘niches’ and reconstruct their learning environments.
Chapters 6 to 8 look more closely at what is actually learned in language learning beyond the classroom. In an ethnographic study of two Spanish women who arrived in France refugees from the Spanish Civil War and learned French largely ‘naturalistically’, Divita (Chapter 6) makes the important point that, in non-institutional settings, ‘language acquisition’ might be better conceived as a process of becoming multilingual that unfolds in idiosyncratic ways and is shaped by experiences of the sociohistorical conditions in which it occurs. Adopting an approach that pays close attention to language data, Divita seeks evidence for this process in the two women’s use of language and, in particular, their use of code switching. Zimmerman’s (Chapter 7) study is also based on close analysis of language data, using Conversation Analysis techniques, consisting of interactions between Korean learners of Japanese and their homestay hosts. Zimmerman provides important evidence of ‘teaching and learning’ episodes in these interactions, which illustrate the sense in which pedagogy may always be present in language learning beyond the classroom. Sundqvist’s (Chapter 8) quantitative study directly tackles the question of whether Swedish students who engage in English learning language learning beyond the classroom actually learn more than those whose learning is limited to school. The results are interesting, if not entirely, predictable: she finds a strong correlation between time spent on out-of-class learning and oral proficiency/vocabulary size, as well as correlation between these factors and gender patterns in the types of activities, which meant that learning beyond the classroom had a greater impact on boys than girls.

Chapters 9-12 examine issues arising from institutional initiatives to provide opportunities for language learning beyond the classroom: a self-directed language learning programme for young people in France, a self-access English project for elderly people in Japan, a tandem learning project involving participants in Germany, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom, and home tutoring in English for migrants to New Zealand. Bailly’s (Chapter 9) project provided learners in a vocational high school in France with the opportunity to learn a language of their choice outside school, supported by advisory sessions, web-based learning materials and opportunities to talk with native speakers of the target languages. Evaluation of the project identified continuities between out-of-school language learning and the learners’ school, personal and social lives and three important conditions for success in self-directed language learning: motivation, learning resources and learning skills. Murray’s project (Chapter 10) was also designed to provide language learning opportunities to people who would not otherwise receive them, in this case elderly Japanese attending a university self-access language learning centre designed for use by the general public. His evaluation suggests that older language learners can especially benefit from the creation of social learning spaces offering possibilities for participation in a community of learners and pedagogical support. Stickler & Emke (Chapter 11) report on a tandem learning project for adult learners involving partners in four European countries. Using language data from the project, they investigate how formal, non-formal and informal learning processes support the acquisition of key competences, arguing that non-formal learning plays an important role in adult language learning. Lastly, Barkhuizen’s (Chapter 12) narrative interview study with home tutors of New Zealand migrants deals directly with language teaching beyond the classroom and in the homes of the learners. Focusing on the interpersonal, emotional dimensions of teaching, which come to the fore in one-to-one teaching in the learner’s home, he argues that the nature of the tutor-learner relationship is a major factor in the decision-making processes and practices of tutors and ultimately in the success of their learners.

A number of chapters highlight the role of teaching and, indeed, teachers in language learning beyond the classroom, which suggests that the distinction between classroom and out-of-class learning is a fuzzy one at best. In particular, language learning beyond the classroom is often initiated by teachers who work in educational institutions, and may even take place in these institutions or in off-campus locations. The important role that teachers often play is highlighted in Reinders’ concluding chapter (Chapter 13) which offers principles and practical advice on the design of language learning materials for use in a range of out-of-class settings.

Language learning and teaching beyond the classroom is not a new area of research, in the sense that studies have appeared in the literature from time to time over the years. This volume is timely, however, because the number of studies is increasing and, indeed, it is unlikely that our call for contributions would have received such a positive response 20 or even 10 years ago. In our view, this opens up the possibility of exploring language learning beyond the classroom as an area of inquiry with its own theoretical assumptions and issues of particular concern. Increased interest in out-of-class learning is prompted, in part, by a shift in the basic assumptions of second language acquisition research among many researchers, who no longer see acquisition in purely cognitive terms, but in terms of participation in communities and contexts of various kinds. This view has led to interest in qualitative studies of learners’ lives and often to the use of ethnographic or retrospective self-report data to investigate learning in out-of-class settings. The studies in this volume illustrate this trend, but are also diverse in their use of research methods, especially in the use of quantitative methods and close analysis of language data.

The key issues to emerge from the volume, which readers may wish to keep in mind as they read, include (1) how we might develop a more comprehensive view of the shared and distinctive features of diverse settings for language learning beyond the classroom, (2) the distinctive characteristics of learning processes and what learners actually learn in these settings, and (3) the roles and distinctive forms of teaching and pedagogy. These issues are likely to be most of interest to the growing number of educators who work with learners in non-conventional settings for language teaching and learning, but the possibility of developing a more general understanding of relationships between settings (including classroom settings), learning and pedagogy means that they are equally relevant to teachers who do most of their work in classrooms.

Bookmark and Share
Recommended reading
Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Data-Driven Decision Making

Cases on Digital Game-Based Learning: Methods, Models, and Strategies
Recent finds

What I am reading now

Language Learning with Technology: Ideas for Integrating Technology in the Classroom

Cognitive Processing in Second Language Acquisition: Inside the learner's mind

Neurolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives on SLA
© Innovation in Teaching 1998-2009. All rights reserved.
buy viagra online in australia
cheap mexico viagra
cheap herbal viagra viagra
buy cheap online prescription viagra
cialis no prescription
viagra by money order
cheapest generic viagra and cialis
buy pill viagra
cheap pharmacy viagra
order viagra online uk
order viagra on line
buy viagra ups
buy cheap levitra
buy canada viagra
cheap viagra in the uk
cheap viagra uk
buy discount price sale viagra viagra
buy viagra online cheapest
buy viagra pill online
cheap online sales viagra
buy cheap viagra prescription online
cheap herbal viagra
buy viagra in canada
buy viagra prescription america
buy viagra pill
buy viagra overnight
cheap viagra at online pharmacy
buy real viagra
cheap viagra online order viagra now
cheapest viagra world
order viagra overnight delivery
order viagra with mastercard
buy viagra in uk
buy lexapro
cheap levitra online
Bullitt Watch Online
buy viagra next day delivery
cheapest viagra online
buy norvasc
Broken Arrow Watch Online
buy viagra online paypal vipps
buy viagra line
cipro 20
discount viagra or cialis
buy file viagra
order viagra international ships
buy viagra for women
buy generic viagra usa
buy viagra online online pharmacy
buy viagra softtabs
buy viagra prescription online
cheap viagra cialis
Cast Away Watch Online
cheapest viagra in uk cheap
buy lipitor
buy real viagra online pharmacy
buy generic viagra pharmacy online
buy viagra online in
viagra buy do nu
cheap viagra
buy viagra in mexico
cheap generic substitute viagra
discount viagra in the usa
buy online prescription viagra
viagra buy australia
buy pfizer viagra
cheapest site viagra
Canadian Bacon Buy Online
buy viagra online in the uk
cheapest price for viagra
buy online viagra in the uk
buy viagra online canadapurchase cialis
buy viagra on-line
discount cialis
buy cheapest online place viagra
V for Vendetta Watch Online
absolute poker
order viagra online
buy viagra online au
buy levitra canada
buy viagra 50mg
purchase levitra
buy viagra or cilas
cheap levitra online
order mexican viagra
order viagra canada
buy cheap discount cialis
buy later now pay viagra
buy viagra powered by phpbb
cheapest cialis
buy viagra with paypal
order viagra now money
buy viagra australian
buy kamagra
viagra canada online
cheapest generic viagra and canada
Cleaner Watch Online
Casanova Watch Online
buy viagra vaniqa prescription
viagra buying
cheapest place to buy viagra online
viagra buy general
buy generic viagra online pharmacy online
cheap generic viagra worcester imc
viagra and cialis
buy online sale viagra
Breach Watch Online
Evil Dead II
cialis 10mg
buy viagra in bangkok
cheapest viagra online plus zenegra
viagra brands
buy online viagra securely
buy low price viagra
buy internet viagra
buy viagra in england
discount viagra overseas
buy viagra prescription
buy cheap sale viagra
cheaper viagra levitra cialis
buy free viagra viagra
buy now levitra
buy 100 mg viagra
cheap generic viagra no prescription
order prescription viagra
buy viagra online order
buy viagra contact us page
buy viagra per pill
cheap pharmaceutical viagra
cheap online pill viagra
buy viagra cheapest best prices online
buy viagra online australia
viagra and coupon
cheapest line viagra
discount viagra europe
cheapest viagra on line
buy now online viagra
discount viagra sale
buy discount propecia
cheapest uk viagra
Butterfly on a Wheel Watch Online
buy prescription viagra
buy viagra free on internet
cheap prescription viagra without
buy buying sale viagra
buy discount cialis
cheap online viagra
buy buy sale viagra viagra
buy generic online viagra
cheap viagra india
buy online pharmacy viagra
buy viagra cheapest
cheap generic india viagra
discount viagra perscription drug
buy viagra in amsterdam
buy online sale viagra viagra
order viagra 1
buy nexium
buy cheap p viagra
buy online viagra viagra
cheaper viagra levitra cyalis
buy viagra other drug online
cheap viagra viagra
buy viagra woman
cheapest viagra in uk
buy viagra in malaysia
buy pharmaceutical viagra
cheap meltabs online viagra
buy evista
buy cheap generic viagra
cheap kamagra viagra
cheapest online viagra
cheap generic viagra uk
buy online us viagra
buy lopressor
Bugsy Malone Watch Online
Event Horizon
buy viagra internet
free bingo
buy viagra now online
buy softtabs viagra
buy online pill viagra
viagra canada generic
buy viagra and cilas
cheapest generic silagra viagra
cheapest price for generic viagra
buy viagra online get prescription
viagra canada price
viagra buy viagra
cheap generic viagra online
buy kamagra viagra india
cheapest generic substitute viagra
order viagra buying viagr
buy discount levitra
buy viagra in toronto
buy viagra online at cheap price
discount viagra sales
cheap cialis viagra
buy viagra online uk
buy cialis no prescription
cheapest uk supplier viagra
order viagra online consumer rx
cheap order site viagra
cheap canadian viagra
buy viagra online a href
viagra by mail canada
Chicken Little Watch Online
buy cheap cialis generic levitra viagra
buy discount generic viagra
viagra buy oonline
cheap man viagra
cheap cialis online
buy viagra pills
generic cialis
buy nolvadex
cheapest viagra
order viagra online no rx prescription
buy from pharmacy us viagra
viagra by mail
buy levitra
cheapest viagra on the net
discount viagra viagra
buy crestor
buy cheapest viagra
buy viagra where
order viagra visit your doctor online
buy viagra over the counter us
cheap meltabs viagra
cheap deal discount viagra viagra
viagra buy
cheap drug viagra
Cliffhanger Watch Online
buy viagra cheap india pharmacy
cialis without prescription
Capote Buy Online Buy Online
buy line viagra where
cheapest viagra overnight
cheap websites for viagra
cheap cheap viagra viagra
Cape Fear Buy Online
buy cheap purchase uk viagra
viagra buy it online now
order generic viagra online
cheapest viagra prices
buy fosamax
buy celebrex
buy caverta
discount viagra mastercard
cheap online viagra viagra
buy viagra generic
buy viagra over the counter
cheap generic overnight viagra
buy viagra sale
cheap prescription viagra
order viagra softtabs
buy viagra locally
viagra canada online pharmacy
cheap cialis online
buy line viagra
purchase levitra online
cialis 1
viagra by the pill
cheapest viagra substitut
buy viagra online no prescription
buy generic viagra img
cheap india viagra
cheapest price on viagra
discount viagra cialis
cialis 10
cheapest 4 quantity of viagra
cheap viagra in uk
viagra buy online
buy viagra by pill
City of Angels Watch Online
Clear and Present Danger Watch Online
buy australian viagra
buy generic viagra viagra
buy cipro
buy discount online viagra
buy locally viagra
Cars Watch Online
discount levitra
cheap viagra buy pharmacy online now
order viagra or levitra
buy sale viagra
cheap online softtabs viagra
cheapest viagra in the uk
buy in online uk viagra
cialis 30mg
buy viagra online
buy viagra us pharmacy low prices
buy viagra online at lowest price
buy cheap site viagra
discount viagra online
cheap soft tab viagra
buy cheap discount levitra
viagra by mail order
order viagra viagra
cheapest regalis viagra
buy cheap viagra online
buy cheap deal online viagra viagra
buy viagra online web meds
buy deal viagra
cheapest viagra uk
cheap phizer viagra
buy cheap generic viagra online
buy diet viagra online
cheap viagra cialis india
cheap online generic viagra
buy viagra onli
cheapest generic viagra and cialis pills
viagra canada prescription
buy cheap viagra on the net
Bulletproof Monk Watch Online
buy real viagra pharmacy online
cheap overnight viagra
Carlitos Way Buy Online
buy discount viagra
discount viagra
order viagra online a href
order cheap viagra fas
cheap no prescription viagra
buy cost low viagra
cheap soft viagra
viagra calgary
cheap viagra canada
buy viagra in new zealand
cheapest generic price viagra
buy online order viagra
Bridget Joness Diary Watch Online
buy viagra onlines
buy discount soma
Chain Reaction Watch Online
cheap generic viagra substitute
cialis 2005
buy viagra online without prescription
Bulworth Watch Online
order site viagra
buy coumadin
order viagra uk
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
buy cheap generic online viagra
buy viagra cialis
buy cheap viagra uk
buy viagra without prescription online pharmacy
buy viagra online discount
buy levitra online
cheapest viagra in uk che
buy viagra in spain
cheap sale viagra
cheep generic viagra
order viagra now viagra money order
cheap order prescription viagra
cheapest viagra on the internet
buy viagra at the best price
cialis online
cheap viagra without prescription
cheap generic 50 mg viagra
buy online prescription viagra without
cheap drugs viagra cialas
buy depakote
buy online uk viagra
buy deal herbal viagra viagra
cheap viagra online pharmacy online
cheap viagra st
discount viagra canada
cheap pill pill sale viagra
cheap discount viagra
order viagra
viagra buy it
buy viagra safeway pharmacy
viagra buying online
buy viagra here in the uk
buy price viagra
cialis 30
cheap cheap viagra
buy canada in viagra
buy viagra in united kingdom
buy prescription vaniqa viagra
buy in uk viagra
order viagra on-line
buy viagra online pharmacy
discount viagra sales online
order viagra without prescription
viagra buy in uk online
buy viagra 1
buy imitrex
cheap pill viagra
buy viagra in great britain
buy free online sale viagra viagra
viagra buy now pay later
buy viagra cheap prices
cheap free viagra
viagra by mail catalog
poker table
buy cialis online
cheapest viagra online in the uk
cheap genric viagra online
Bridge to Terabithia Watch Online
buy deal online online viagra viagra
cheap viagra 25mg
cheapest prices for viagra online
Brief Encounter Watch Online
order cialis and viagra
cheap discount viagra viagra